chapter  9
28 Pages

The Big M ≈ Market

ByWilliam C. Frederick

Markets are where, and how, most of the world’s peoples obtain the essentials and luxuries of life. The more numerous and diverse the markets are—the wider choices they offer and the greater ease of accessing them—the greater is the likelihood you will experience a successful market adventure. As a prime economic, life-supporting mechanism, the market is the inheritor of all those adaptive evolutionary forces comprising the cumulative Evolutionary Cascade. The ceremonial kula “market” involves the exchange of two ritualistic items: shell armbands and shell necklaces. Neither has any utilitarian or even decorative use since they are rarely worn. Instrumental, pragmatic, economic markets—local, national, global, electronic—seem to be a far cry from the reciprocal exchanges of our ancient ancestors when social and psychological motives were dominant. Modern contemporary markets are intriguing examples of nature at work. Economizing’s evolutionary legacy is impressively ancient and comprehensive, constituting one of the natural pillars supporting market exchange.